After six months injured, Philippe Coutinho is back on the scene. The Brazilian playmaker injured his knee in the final game of 2020 and didn't play again last season.
Now he's ready to feel like a football again and he's told the club as much, with both parties keen to find him an exit this summer.
Coutinho arrives back in Barcelona this week with the aim of getting back into shape when preseason begins. The objective is to get up to a competitive rhythm as soon as possible to prove he's fit again.
Coutinho told Barça he would return this Friday for medical tests. He still cannot train with the group but he will do so individually.
He has told the club his knee is good and the club want to take a look now. If that's the case, it will be good news as they look t move the former Liverpool player on this summer.
Coutinho's agents will also be in Barcelona -- next week is the plan. There's a good relationship between the club and his people, who will have to find a solution.
Barça would prefer a transfer, although it's unlikely any clubs will put money on the table. Leicester City have shown the most interest so far but both Milan clubs are also there.
A transfer for any of them is unlikely, though, unless Coutinho agrees to reduce his salary. The player initially wanted to return to Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp closed the door.
If it turns out the knee needs more time, Barça may have to wait until January. Ronald Koeman has told the club he likes Coutinho's profile so it wouldn't be an inconvenience having him on the squad.
Coutinho has a contract until 2023. He is the club's most expensive signings of all time. They paid Liverpool 120 million euros plus 40 million in add ons.
Of those add ons, 20 million have to be paid if Coutinho reaches 100 games for the club. He's currently played 90. Keeping in mind the dramatic financial situation, it's difficult to imagine Barça letting him reach that milestone.